?After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ?Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.? --Matthew 2: 1-2
By Andres Salas
??for it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.? --Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Anticipation. Following a sign. Being a child. These all remind me of one Christmas Eve when I had three, young, sleepless "Wise Men" waiting for the arrival of the joy that Christmas brings. Their task was to wait for the sign, a star in the sky also known as sunrise, to make their trek from all the way upstairs to all the way downstairs, to wake us up so we could all open presents. Our task was to wake up before them, get ready, yet pretend to be asleep when they came down. It seemed like a simple enough plan.
We joke about that night now, but when the kids crept downstairs at three o'clock in the morning to excitedly wake us up (they still claim they saw the sunrise), they were not greeted with the joy of Christmas, but rather by the reaction of a grumpy dad who was startled out of a snug and sugarplum-filled sleep. I can still remember the sound of hurried steps running back upstairs before I drifted back to a less restful sleep, anticipating their return.
In their hearts, there was never a question about whether the sun would come up, but now instead full anticipation of when the sun would come up. Anticipation lives in our hearts. When we know something is going to happen, we eagerly anticipate it. This is Advent: the waiting and preparing of our spirit for the celebration of His coming.
Dear Lord, please help us to be like children and anticipate the joys this season brings. Help us remember that we already received the perfect gift in your son, Jesus Christ. Allow your love to fill our hearts and lift our spirits as we prepare this season. Amen.
Andres Salas is married to Kendra. Pamela, Andrew, and Jeffery played the role of the upstairs Wise Men in this story.